OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets


August Underground (2001)

Okay, so this review doesn't have a nifty picture of the DVD cover at the beginning... because I can't find any. Blame it on the internet. 

Hm... August Underground. Tagline: "The sickest film ever made."

...can I agree? I don't know. Sort of. Sort of... no. I'm a bit ambivalent about this one. 

First of all, because I just got alerted to it: Fred Vogel, the guy who directed this flick and wrote the script (together with Allen Peters) taught at Tom Savini's special FX school - which probably explains why some of the gore and effects in this flick look quite realistic (I just say "sliced off nipple"). Note the wording "some of the gore", with an emphasis on SOME. 

For example, the blood doesn't really look realistic. It's... too pink. Far too pink. And even the blood that has been smeared all over the bodies of the hapless victims was... pink. Dried blood is not pink. Fresh blood is not pink. So, please, Mr. Vogel: Check out how blood actually looks like. It will help you with your other efforts at movie making. Trust me on that. Because, seriously, the pink shine really doesn't help with making a movie that's supposed to be gritty and realistic to the max. 

Other than that... August Underground starts out nicely - I dare say even promising. We get treated to a naked young woman, tied to a chair in a filthy basement, with aforementioned cut off nipple, apparently a wound under the right breast (Right? Me and The Friend* are both not sure whether it's the right or the left boob that is supposed to having been cut...), but there isn't any cut there. However, the blood still appears to come from a cut somewhere there, so merf. Not good. If you make a trail of blood running "out of" a wound, at least have the decency to actually show us the wound - especially if you're not trying to make a tame PG-13 movie. And I severely doubt that August Underground was supposed to get a PG-13 rating.

I really don't know what to actually say about this movie, though. It was, I admit it, a little bit disappointing. I had expected more from it - more gore, more violence. More blood and intestines, and all that wonderful stuff. 

Then again, this shouldn't be taken as me complaining. I liked some of the footage. Whilst I am not a big fan of... *trying to think about the Greek term, ANY Greek term for it*...  scatology (sorry, coprophilia doesn't really work in terms of this movie, I apologise for any inconvenience this has caused any coprophiliacs out there) in any way or form (and I mean NOT AT ALL), I have to admit that I liked the idea of torturing the tied-up young woman that way. Or should that be "humiliating"? I take it the latter would be more appropriate. Plus, it is... very non-humane.  I dare say it's inhumane. And I like stuff like that. However, I could have done with a little less intimate footage of shit. Literally shit. 

(However, I had to giggle when they threw the bucket full of urine at her...) 


The so-called "rape"-scene... well, suffice it to say that scenes like that will always get different sorts of reactions from viewers, let alone reviewers. I wasn't entirely convinced (granted, the shaky camera might have had something to do with that), but still. The movie made an effort. 

One thing that completely turned me off was the... the... FATNESS of everyone involved. No single aesthetically pleasing individual in the whole movie. Not a single one. Whilst I got used to seeing the flabby guy who we are told (by virtue of guessing for ourselves) is a "serial killer" (of course, I strongly disagree, but that's just me and my being picky for definitions) prance around (and I mean "prance around", it's ridiculous to watch him at several points throughout the movie), it's just disgusting when you're forced to watch ugly females dance around ...or, even worse, showing us what they have (far too much, sadly... mostly because one's eyes take irrevocable damage). Yes, I know, I am weird like that, but flabby people do not excite me. Not in the least. 

Also, the scenes that didn't deal with direct, honest violence (the guys visiting a miniature America, the gig they are visiting, the hooker scene...) were far too long as compared to those few scenes that gave us actual violence and brutality. Granted, I had to smile during the scene at the band's gig (I'm sorry, I forgot to write down the name of the band), because it reminded me of some of the gigs I've been to... and I appreciate that. However, it still wasn't ...satisfying. Okay, yes, Vogel wanted to make a movie that actually looked like some amateur video, and he succeeded in that. But it still left me and The Friend sitting in front of the screen with a little bit of annoyance on our faces, left enough time to make silly jokes and left us a tad disappointed. 

In short: August Underground could have been better. However, I liked the giggling from the apparently slightly psychotic guy "behind the camera". 

I am torn as to what rating I should give this flick... 

Ah, heck. 

6/10 wrecking pits that made me smile with fond memories

*The Friend (aka TF as of now) is the official code-name for the guy who made it possible for me to watch Narok by forcing it upon me and occasionally helps me with the reviews by discussing movies with me after we watched them. Hello TF. I know you won't read this (he never reads the reviews...).